One in Three Mesothelioma Deaths Go Unreported in Brazil

mesothelioma deaths

Brazil has a history of underreporting mesothelioma deaths and the trend is not improving.  That is the word from Brazilian public health experts. Their new report appears in a recent issue of Occupational Medicine.  Researchers from the Institute of Collective Health in Salvador examined electronic medical records from across the country. They compared them with the official record of asbestos related diseases (ARDs) in Brazil’s Mortality Information System.  They discovered that more than 300 mesothelioma deaths were missing from the roughly 1000 deaths reported between 2008 and 2014. The researchers say such underreporting makes it harder to evaluate “remedial policies” that could help prevent asbestos-linked illnesses. Asbestos in Brazil Asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma deaths worldwide. Mesothelioma is a … Continue reading One in Three Mesothelioma Deaths Go Unreported in Brazil »

How Long Does Mesothelioma Risk Last After Asbestos Exposure?

asbestos exposure

If you experienced asbestos exposure more than 30 years ago and you have not developed mesothelioma, your risk for the disease may be starting to decline.  A new Italian study is the latest to suggest that mesothelioma risk may taper off over time. A group of occupational health experts conducted the study. Their goal was to predict mesothelioma trends in Italy until 2040.  The data shows that mesothelioma cases will probably peak this year. But they also show that most of those cases will happen in people with asbestos exposure in the last three decades.  Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Incidence Asbestos is the main cause of malignant mesothelioma. A small number of mesothelioma cases happen without any known asbestos exposure. … Continue reading How Long Does Mesothelioma Risk Last After Asbestos Exposure? »

South Korean Mesothelioma Rates Still Rising Decades After Asbestos Ban

asbestos ban

A new report out of South Korea is proof that it can take many years for mesothelioma rates to decline even after implementing an asbestos ban. Asbestos is the number one cause of malignant mesothelioma worldwide. South Korea banned asbestos in 2009. But a report in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health shows the country will likely be dealing with the after-effects well into the future.  A national asbestos ban is a vital step toward fighting occupational cancer. But the new study is a sobering reminder that it cannot eliminate mesothelioma overnight.  Occupational Risk for Malignant Mesothelioma Mesothelioma can be a health hazard for anyone who ever worked with or around asbestos.  Once a worker inhales or … Continue reading South Korean Mesothelioma Rates Still Rising Decades After Asbestos Ban »

BAP1 Not the Only Gene to Raise Mesothelioma Risk

raise mesothelioma risk

A new study is further evidence that a mutation on the BAP1 gene is not the only genetic anomaly to raise mesothelioma risk. Scientists at Philadelphia’s Fox Chase Cancer Center along with a team of international researchers recently published a study of 13 malignant mesothelioma patients. All of these patients had close relatives who also had cancer. This suggested that something in their genetic makeup might raise mesothelioma risk.  Previous research suggests one gene that makes people more susceptible to mesothelioma is BAP1. People with a mutation on this gene are more likely to receive a mesothelioma diagnosis. They are also more susceptible to several other conditions.  But the people in the new study were chosen because none of them … Continue reading BAP1 Not the Only Gene to Raise Mesothelioma Risk »

Banning Asbestos Still Best Way to Prevent Mesothelioma

Banning Asbestos

A new Spanish report concludes that banning asbestos is the most effective way to prevent new cases of mesothelioma and asbestos-linked lung cancer.  Experts in epidemiology and occupational health conducted the research. Their report appears in a recent issue of the Spanish medical journal, Gaceta Sanitaria. The research shows that all types of asbestos raise the risk for lung cancer and mesothelioma and that some are extra dangerous. The study found that people exposed to needle-shaped amphibole asbestos fibers had the highest rates of illness.  They say the only way to fully protect people against both amphibole and serpentine asbestos (the other major category) is banning asbestos completely. Asbestos Restrictions in the US The US EPA, the Department of Health … Continue reading Banning Asbestos Still Best Way to Prevent Mesothelioma »

Atomic Military Veterans Faced Higher Risk From Asbestos Than Radiation

military veterans

A study published in a US medical journal shows atomic military veterans faced a higher risk from asbestos exposure during their service than they did from radiation.  The study published last summer focused on more than 100,000 veterans. These veterans participated in at least one of 230 above-ground nuclear weapons tests between 1945 and 1962. The tests took place at eight nuclear test sites.  Some soldiers participated in military maneuvers, observed nuclear weapons tests, or provided technical support. Others served on board ships or were stationed on islands during or after nuclear tests.  In spite of their proximity to radioactive weapons, atomic military veterans were more likely to die of an asbestos-related illness like mesothelioma than a radiation-related illness. The … Continue reading Atomic Military Veterans Faced Higher Risk From Asbestos Than Radiation »

New Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines Could Catch Some Mesotheliomas Earlier

new lung cancer screening guidelines

New lung cancer screening guidelines for smokers might have an unexpected benefit for people who have also been exposed to asbestos: They may catch mesothelioma earlier.  Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a lung-related cancer caused by asbestos. It develops over many years. Many mesothelioma patients do not show any symptoms until the disease is very advanced. There is currently no routine screening for mesothelioma. The new lung cancer screening guidelines apply to people ages 50 to 80. They suggest that those who have smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for 20 years should have annual low-dose CT scans.  If screening shows a tumor, doctors can dig further to determine its type. Both lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma are more … Continue reading New Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines Could Catch Some Mesotheliomas Earlier »

The Ongoing Effort to Downplay the Dangers of Asbestos

dangers of asbestos

A pair of occupational medicine experts say the dangers of asbestos – particularly its ability to cause cancers like malignant mesothelioma – are still being downplayed by those who mine and sell it.  The report appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology. The authors are experts in the field from Hamburg University in Germany and Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia. Scientists around the world have warned about the dangers of asbestos for decades. Asbestos is responsible for tens of thousands of mesothelioma deaths every year. In the US, about 2,500 people die of mesothelioma annually because of asbestos exposure. Early Recognition of the Dangers of Asbestos Asbestos is a fibrous mineral … Continue reading The Ongoing Effort to Downplay the Dangers of Asbestos »

Diabetes Drug Triggers Mesothelioma Cell Death in New Study

diabetes drug

A new study suggests that the diabetes drug metformin may help keep mesothelioma cells from growing and spreading.  The study is not the first study of metformin for mesothelioma. But this one dives deeper into how the diabetes drug may actually work against asbestos cancer.  Drugs to treat mesothelioma can be expensive. But metformin pills are common and relatively cheap. If the drug proves to be helpful against mesothelioma, it could offer hope to thousands of patients fighting this rare cancer.  Mesothelioma Treatment with a Diabetes Drug? Pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cancer caused by asbestos. It affects the thin tissue surrounding the lungs.  As cancer grows on this membrane, it prevents the natural movement of the … Continue reading Diabetes Drug Triggers Mesothelioma Cell Death in New Study »

Asbestos in Agriculture May Be Hidden Mesothelioma Risk

hidden mesothelioma risk

Occupational health researchers in Italy say asbestos exposure in agricultural products and equipment may present a hidden mesothelioma risk for farm workers.  The study appears in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  Agriculture is not an industry typically associated with asbestos exposure. But the new study suggests that there may be more of this hidden mesothelioma risk on farms than previously thought.  Occupational Mesothelioma Exposure Malignant mesothelioma is an occupational disease. Most people diagnosed with this rare cancer worked in an industry that used asbestos. The longer and heavier the exposure, the higher the risk for mesothelioma.  Asbestos was mostly a hidden mesothelioma risk until the 1950s. Mining companies produced asbestos for many industries. The construction industry … Continue reading Asbestos in Agriculture May Be Hidden Mesothelioma Risk »

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